Okay, raise your hand if you can remember back to when there was a KFC on the southeast corner of Broad & Bainbridge. We confess, we only vaguely remember those days, not so much because we weren't around, but more likely because the one-story building that once housed the business has been vacant for about a decade. One would think, given the location, that some other business would have taken over here in the interim but that hasn't been the case. We can see in an old listing, the space was available for lease a few years back for $12K/month, not including associated taxes and insurance. So maybe that's why it has continued to sit empty.
You'll notice in the photo above, there's now a sign on the property indicating that it's for sale. It's not so often that a corner property on South Broad Street so close to downtown becomes available, so it was with some excitement that we reached out to MPN Realty, the brokers for the property, for some details. They told us that the property is available for $5.2M. It's got CMX-3 zoning, has three street frontages, and measures just under 9,000 sqft.
Off the top of our heads, we can think of a couple of possibilities for the property. The best case scenario would probably be a mid-rise mixed-use building, with maybe 30-40 apartments and ground-floor retail. But the cost of construction plus land would result in a project that, by our back of the envelope calculations, would produce a return of about 3.5% per year. So we're not sure that anyone is rushing to do that project. If a developer could combine the corner parcel with the 12,500 sqft property next door, demolish everything, and build a higher-end five-story building with a larger footprint, that would likely be a more attractive alternative. But for timing, that could have happened, as the building next door was available just a few years ago. With several tenants now locked into leases there, we'd now wager that the building isn't going anywhere.
Another possibility for the corner of Broad & Bainbridge would be eight mansions with a drive-aisle in the middle, with asking prices for the homes starting around $2M. We're not sure about the demand for homes at that price in this location, but we could see a developer looking at the slowly moving, perhaps stalled residential project across the street and thinking that they could do a better job.
Of course, there's always the chance that someone will buy the land and try to lease it to another fast food business. Maybe KFC would consider a return to South Broad Street!